When people talk about the strange flowering of videogames of the past 5 or so years, they typically speak of it in a binary sense: AAA or indie. I don’t even mean along a sliding scale; I mean truly binary, 1 or 0, this bucket or that one.
This sort of >
At some point, it’s worth reassessing any persnickety bit of language; note how words like “bro” or “hipster,” to pick two, have been used so aggressively over the past few years that they’re now almost meaningless. We’re already seeing those binary notions of “indie” and “AAA” crumble, anyway, each side co-opting the virtues (and, one must assume, the faults) of the other. Major publishers are overhauling their calendars to create small, artist-driven works, such as Child of Light and Hearthstone. Sony’s ceaseless touting of indie support for its systems reached an almost pornographic fervor during the run-up to the PlayStation 4’s release. Star Citizen‘s budget is higher than the gross domestic product of Tuvalu.
So, why do a week focused on genre? This is, after all, just more >
The people who play and make videogames, after all, often
The people who play and make videogames, after all, oftenlove genre. We almost always describe a game, in our first sentence to someone, by its type. We’re giddy to catalog the differences between platformers and Metroidvanias, SRPGs and ARPGs. The fun isn’t in the debate but in the orderliness of it, the drawing of neat lines.
Well: that orderliness is fast disappearing. It’d be no fun to spoil which genres we decided on—there will be surprises, I promise—but I will say that the thread that unifies them all isn’t just a deconstruction but also a democratization. The traditional walls that define play, ideas, and authorship are being torn down, but those bricks are being put to good use. Something new is being built with them. This week we’re taking a peek at the blueprints.